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  1. #1
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    Locked up in wooden cage in Austrian classroom: girl with learning difficulties

    Pictured: The wooden cage in Austrian classroom used to lock up girl, 14, with learning difficulties

    A girl with learning difficulties was locked up inside a wooden cage by her school teachers because they could not cope with her behaviour.
    The 14-year-old was penned into the tiny make-shift jail at the request of the head teacher at the Austrian school.
    Karl Schmidhuber, defended the schools decision to keep the girl in the four metre square wooden box.
    He claimed the girl, known only as Sandra, was violent and disruptive during lessons and that locking her up was the only solution.


    More: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ficulties.html

    Austria really isn't presenting itself in a good light, is it. the wooden cage was put together by the school caretaker.

    considering the school is specifically for mentally and physically disabled children, i have to wonder what else they do there?

  2. #2
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    Poor kid. It seems that her learning difficulties are poorly understood by teachers and staff & I can't believe for one minute that any educational psychologist would recommend that.

    I can understand the school having a quiet place to let upset or disturbed students calm down in a safe quiet environment but a wooden cell? Seems that this head teacher and his staff are still back in the dark ages when it comes to dealing with learning difficulties.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by blaize View Post
    Poor kid. It seems that her learning difficulties are poorly understood by teachers and staff & I can't believe for one minute that any educational psychologist would recommend that.

    I can understand the school having a quiet place to let upset or disturbed students calm down in a safe quiet environment but a wooden cell? Seems that this head teacher and his staff are still back in the dark ages when it comes to dealing with learning difficulties.

    I do have to say, that whoever built the cage did a good job constructing it. It was actually a worse place than i thought. When I hear cage I think you can see through bars. This was more like a shipping crate.

    I don't agree with their solution, but I do have to ask what the appropriate solution is. The girl was already in a school for mentally challenged kids. If she was that violent (teachers and kids on antibiotics from bites and scratches) what would we have done with her in the US? Would she have been admitted to a mental institution with padded rooms, teathers? From the story, you can't really tell whether it was that extreme of a problem or not, but I just don't know how to deal with these tough situations.

  4. #4
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    This makes me so sick.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floh View Post
    Pictured: The wooden cage in Austrian classroom used to lock up girl, 14, with learning difficulties

    A girl with learning difficulties was locked up inside a wooden cage by her school teachers because they could not cope with her behaviour.
    The 14-year-old was penned into the tiny make-shift jail at the request of the head teacher at the Austrian school.
    Karl Schmidhuber, defended the schools decision to keep the girl in the four metre square wooden box.
    He claimed the girl, known only as Sandra, was violent and disruptive during lessons and that locking her up was the only solution.

    More: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ficulties.html

    Austria really isn't presenting itself in a good light, is it. the wooden cage was put together by the school caretaker.

    considering the school is specifically for mentally and physically disabled children, i have to wonder what else they do there?
    I don't really have a problem with it. It's either the box or institutional facility where she would be medicated into oblivion or strapped to a bed. This is actually the least restrictive and afforded the oppurtunity to learn.

    If she is that violent and dangerous she doesn't belong in any school setting. We lock up violent uncontrollable people in cells everyday, often times we let them back out into society...and we all know what happens then!

  6. #6
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    I would wonder how one can learn in a "shipping crate" to quote rainbows above. This cage also looked worse to me then I expected. The poor child could not even see out. If this is a school for the developmentally challenged and the child was too violent to fit in, then drugs would have been a better course of action. At least then she would have been able to interact with others. In this crate - she can't even see others. I'm sure she hears them though and I'll bet money that just adds to her frustration and disruptive behavior. Forced to stay in a box and hear activity that you can not participate in.

    The school should lose its license. If this is the type of teacher they have for disabled students, maybe they should ship the students to a different country or better train the instructors?

    Just bad and sad,

    Salem

  7. #7
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    the crate looks pretty good to me,, no different than confining mental patients in a solitary space until they can calm down. i would like to know,, if she is violent, lashing out, out of control, biting teachers & other students,, what the heck else are they supposed to do with her...???

  8. #8
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    It's difficult to even begin to answer this question. I am no expert on special needs children. However, an assessment of their needs would be a place to start. Once assessed, appropriate medication if needed. She doesn't have to be drugged unconscious...... just what she needs so she can slow down and the violent tendencies can be controlled without locking her up. Then maybe some one on one therapy for behavior modification, etc. It is difficult to answer the question without any history on the child's background.

    I have a serious problem with an institution that puts itself out there as a school for special needs and then is not equipped to deal with the needs of the children they accept into the facility. For the principal to say they had no other option is just shameful. This school should be shut down.

    I do not know of any other place that thinks it is okay to lock a person up in a crate. Yes, some mental patients are confined to their rooms, but if it was for days on end without any medical review or course of action, I would hope that someone would protest quite loudly.

    As for the folks that are locked up in jail or prison, for the most part, I have no sympathy and I don't care if they are locked up in crates (depends on guilt and crime, of course). But for patients with medical needs and children with special needs, this course is action is totally unacceptable.

    Just my opinion,

    Salem
    Last edited by Salem; 06-07-2008 at 11:06 AM. Reason: many, many typos :)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    It's difficult to even begin to answer this question. I am no expert on special needs children. However, an assessment of their needs would be a place to start. Once assessed, appropriate medication if needed. She doesn't have to be drugged unconscious...... just what she needs so she can slow down and the violent tendencies can be controlled without locking her up. Then maybe some one on one therapy for behavior modification, etc. It is difficult to answer the question without any history on the child's background.

    I have a serious problem with an institution that puts itself out there as a school for special needs and then is not equipped to deal with the needs of the children they accept into the facility. For the principal to say they had no other option is just shameful. This school should be shut down.

    I do not know of any other place that thinks it is okay to lock a person up in a crate. Yes, some mental patients are confined to their rooms, but if it was for days on end without any medical review or course of action, I would hope that someone would protest quite loudly.

    As for the folks that are locked up in jail or prison, for the most part, I have no sympathy and I don't care if they are locked up in crates (depends on guilt and crime, of course). But for patients with medical needs and children with special needs, this course is action is totally unacceptable.

    Just my opinion,

    Salem

    I don't understand the difference? Aren't most prisioners suffering from some sort of uncontrolled mental defect? Drugs are not the answer for everything...and they offer no guarenntee that a person will not continue to act out violently....if only it were that easy.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda7NJ View Post
    I don't understand the difference? Aren't most prisioners suffering from some sort of uncontrolled mental defect? Drugs are not the answer for everything...and they offer no guarenntee that a person will not continue to act out violently....if only it were that easy.
    Interesting take on crime. Flies in the face of our Western concept of responsibility and free will, but reopens the discussion of the distinction between illness and criminal activity.

    Back to the crate. What if Austria tends to do on a local level what we do statewide, i.e. diagnose and keep the dysfunctional of whatever cause from hurting others. How is this different from solitary in a prison? Is it better than Haldolling her out until she can't move or speak??

    I think what bothers us in the US is that it looks barbaric, inhumane; it hits a lot of places we think we are better than most. I'd be interested to see what their neighbors the Germans think....

    C6


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by crypto6 View Post
    Interesting take on crime. Flies in the face of our Western concept of responsibility and free will, but reopens the discussion of the distinction between illness and criminal activity.

    Back to the crate. What if Austria tends to do on a local level what we do statewide, i.e. diagnose and keep the dysfunctional of whatever cause from hurting others. How is this different from solitary in a prison? Is it better than Haldolling her out until she can't move or speak??

    I think what bothers us in the US is that it looks barbaric, inhumane; it hits a lot of places we think we are better than most. I'd be interested to see what their neighbors the Germans think....

    C6
    I think it is different because the girl is mentally/emotionally handicapped not a person, who (as you said) used their free will to make a choice to harm another. I think it is better to drug her up and try other methods to get her on track. Putting her in the crate is giving up on her. Again, it is hard to talk about what would be best without more specifics. I would to hear what her parents think of this "treatment." I would be less concerned is she were locked in a room where she could at least walk around, throw pillows, etc. It would be nice if she had a window so she could see outside.

    Maybe this violent behavior started when she went to the school - then best course of action would be to get her out of there, not locking her in a crate. It's sad and I still think the school should lose it license.

    Salem

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda7NJ View Post
    I don't understand the difference? Aren't most prisioners suffering from some sort of uncontrolled mental defect? Drugs are not the answer for everything...and they offer no guarenntee that a person will not continue to act out violently....if only it were that easy.
    Linda - if you don't see the difference, I'm not sure I can explain it to you. For me, it is something within my heart. I don't think you should turn your back on a child, or give up on a child. There has to be a better way.

    I agree with crypto - a criminal acts of their own free will. There are many people who walk among us that are sick or have been abused and they haven't killed anyone. Those in prision that whine made a choice to commit the crime, and for those who commit violent crimes against the innocent, I don't really care if they are locked up in crates, starved, whatever. They made their choice, they can deal with it.

    From the article - it sounds as if this girl can not make choices of her own will, she can only react based on her abilities.

    Salem

  13. #13
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    what the hell is going on in austria

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    Linda - if you don't see the difference, I'm not sure I can explain it to you. For me, it is something within my heart. I don't think you should turn your back on a child, or give up on a child. There has to be a better way.

    I agree with crypto - a criminal acts of their own free will. There are many people who walk among us that are sick or have been abused and they haven't killed anyone. Those in prison that whine made a choice to commit the crime, and for those who commit violent crimes against the innocent, I don't really care if they are locked up in crates, starved, whatever. They made their choice, they can deal with it.

    From the article - it sounds as if this girl can not make choices of her own will, she can only react based on her abilities.

    Salem

    At what age do you hold a child responsible for their actions? Just curious.

    Prisons are full of mentally ill people ....they are held responsible.

    Personally, I don't know enough about this child's diagnoses or medical & psychological history to judge.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainbowsAndGumdrops View Post
    I do have to say, that whoever built the cage did a good job constructing it. It was actually a worse place than i thought. When I hear cage I think you can see through bars. This was more like a shipping crate.

    I don't agree with their solution, but I do have to ask what the appropriate solution is. The girl was already in a school for mentally challenged kids. If she was that violent (teachers and kids on antibiotics from bites and scratches) what would we have done with her in the US? Would she have been admitted to a mental institution with padded rooms, teathers? From the story, you can't really tell whether it was that extreme of a problem or not, but I just don't know how to deal with these tough situations.

    Did it say if this poor child was medicated? Maybe she has the wrong meds?
    Maybe some ativan would help her stay calm in class?

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